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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2343

Monthly archive

National budget for the fiscal year at is final stage

M.A. Qader-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Bangladesh

Bangladesh finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Wednesday said budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year is at the final stages. "The budget drafting is expected completed within this month. Subsequent it will be sent to the press [for printing]," he said at his office yesterday. The budget session will start on June 4 and it will be presented at the parliament on June 11, he said.

Kerala 'godman’ rapped 16 years jail for rape

From Gopal Ethiraj in Chennai

Here is yet another self-professed spiritual guru convicted for raping and sexually exploiting two people, including a minor girl. Of late the country abounds with this tribe, who under the shelter of ‘swamis’ find it safe to quench their carnal desires. Spiritual guru and astrologer Swami Amritananthachaithanya alias Santosh Madhavan was on Wednesday sentenced to 16 years imprisonment by a Kerala court. The Ernakulam Additional Sessions Court has also asked Madhavan, who was arrested last year, to pay Rs.220,000 to the two victims.

UNHCR concerned about IDP conditions in Sri Lanka

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

As the fighting in north-east Sri Lanka comes to an end, the scale of the challenges facing UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies on the ground become more apparent. "It is now estimated that up to 80,000 people have left the former fighting zone in the last three days, which brings the total who have fled the fighting in the last several months to 280,000." In a statement issued by the agency today, some 230,000 have been screened and registered and are currently accommodated in 41 sites spread across four districts. Another 50,000 people are undergoing screening and registration at various points and awaiting transportation to the sites.

Nepal Maoist file 'commitment proposal' against President in the parliament

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on Wednesday tabled a 'commitment proposal' at the parliament secretariat against the President's move to block the government's decision to sack the army chief Rookmangud Katawal. The proposal registered by Maoist party deputy leader in parliament, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, comes just two days after Maoist lawmakers stormed the legislature and demonstrated inside the assembly hall to prevent a vote for a new prime minister.

India: Congress in talks on government formation, DMK sulking

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

DMK, NCP and other allies of the Congress allies are sulking even as the official formalities for the swearing in of Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister for the second term are completed. The big event will take place on Friday, Rashtrapati Bhavan announced on Wednesday after Manmohan Singh along with Sonia Gandhi met President Pratibha Patil and staked his claim. With every party outside the Left and BJP falling head over heels to be by his side, the government has the backing of 322 MPs. For a simple majority the government needs 272 members on the treasury benches. Pre-poll alliances gave the Congress 274 members.

Prabhakaran death: endless rumour mills at work

The endless rumor mills keep churning that the death of the LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, is not true. Whereas the Sri Lankan army placed on record through internationally broadcast images of his body. His whereabouts is still a big question mark for many in Tamil Nadu. Many kinds of theory is being floated here. If two meet or call on phones, this first question being asked: is it true that Prabhakaran is killed?

Island wide functions to felicitate the Armed Forces

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Ceremonies to explain to all school children and to appreciate the good work done by the Armed Forces to unify the country by defeating the LTTE are taking place in all schools in the island this morning (21), an official of The Education Department said. The Ministry of Public Administration has requested that the National Flag be unfurled and the National Anthem be sung in all Government Departments and in all mercantile establishments at 9.30 am this morning(21) to whip up a sense of patriotism in the hearts of the people.

Italian Bishop Conference donates Euros One Million

Fr.Neville Joe Perera reporting from Rome

Italian Bishop Conference donates Euros One Million for the war victims Sri Lanka. Through the Intervention of Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith now serving in the Vatican a donation of one Million Euros for the war victims in Sri Lanka has been passed. As a gesture of care and concern for the war victims in Sri Lanka the Italian Bishops Conference has donated this cash. The Italian Bishop’s Conference also invites the universal church to pray for peace in Sri Lanka and sustain the needs of the war victims.

Karuna wishes to meet Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Prabah and KarunaVinayagamoorthi Muralidaran nom de guerre Karuna Amman, who is a State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation today in the Sri Lanka Government and who until recently was LTTE chief Prabhakaran’s closest aide of 22 years as Colonel Karuna says he wants to meet Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi to explain to them the "circumstances that led to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination". Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan alias Karuna, whose 2004 revolt played a vital role in the weakening of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also said the Tigers would never rise again. He said there's no one left in the LTTE to carry out guerrilla attacks anymore.

Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Day

From Gopal Ethiraj in Chennai

Floral tribute to Rajiv GandhiFormer Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s 18th memorial day is being observed on May 21, today, when Rajiv Gandhi’s statue throughout the state would be garlanded by the leaders as is the practice. With general elections just gone by and the Congress-led combine having captured the Centre, streams of leaders and party workers paying homage is expected. This is the day in 1991 Rajiv Gandhi attained martyrdom, being assassinated by the LTTE. The ‘killer chief’ himself been killed now a couple of days before the Rajiv memorial day, it assumes significance in the sense the conflicting emotional moods. In this connection tight security arrangements have been posted by the Tamil Nadu police. All the statues of Rajiv in the state have been provided with armed personnel.

Ban Ki Moon to assess rehabilitation and reconstruction in Sri Lanka

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will visit Sri Lanka tomorrow (22) for a firsthand look at displacement camps and the former war zone, and to to assess rehabilitation and reconstruction needs, the Foreign Ministry announced. "I am relieved by the conclusion of the military operation and now it is most important that every effort be undertaken to begin a process of healing and national reconciliation." Moon said he hoped to ramp up humanitarian aid for the country and help facilitate dialogue in the country.

Sri Lanka yet to get ‘congratulatory message’ from U.S. leadership: War crimes charges against Sri Lanka under review says Blake

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune Political Note

Robert O. Blake While foreign ministers and leaders of many nations extended congratulatory messages to the Government of Sri Lanka for its historic military victory over the most ruthless terrorist outfit LTTE the United States which was entangled for many decades in a mixture of fact and fiction about the political scenario in Sri Lanka has so far failed to sent a positive congratulatory note from the highest level. The congratulatory messages have been reduced to the level of an assistant secretary of the U.S. Defense Department telephoning Sri Lanka envoy in Washington and U.S. envoy to Sri Lanka Blake on his final call on President Rajapaksa before he departs for Washington to assume another position in the State Department.

Prabhakaran’s entire family decimated in the bid to escape

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

The bodies of a woman Mathvathani Erambu, identified as Prabhakaran’s wife and a girl Duvaraka, identified as Prabhakaran’s daughter, and a young boy Balachandran identified as Prabhakaran’s younger son were found in the vicinity of the body of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran according to Army officials. These bodies which have now been sent for autopsy today (May 20), were found from among those retrieved from the Nandikadal lagoon yesterday (May 19), said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.

Japan felicitates President Rajapaksa on unifying the country

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso has felicitated President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his leadership in unifying the entire country and liberating the areas which were under the control of the LTTE for the past 26 years. He conveyed his good wishes to President Rajapaksa when the latter telephoned the Japanese Prime Minister yesterday (19 May 2009) to brief him on the successful completion of the humanitarian mission of the security forces to wipe out terrorism from the country. President Rajapaksa expressed his sincere appreciation for Japan’s continued support extended to Sri Lanka over the years in international fora as well as for the socio-economic development of the country.

Clinton warns of regional arms race

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told senators Wednesday that if Iran obtains a nuclear weapons capability, it would trigger an arms race in the Middle East and beyond. She said the Obama administration is pursuing a diplomatic track on the issue with Iran but within a specific time-frame. In testimony before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee nominally devoted to the foreign affairs budget, she said, "a nuclear-armed Iran with a deliverable weapons system is going to spark an arms race in the Middle East and the greater region. That is not going to be in the interests of Iranian security and we believe that we have a very strong case to make for that."

Alleged Kerala Godman

Prabah and Karuna

US Ambassador Robert O. Blake


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